Lara Morgan is a British entrepreneur with a track record of delivering exceptional accelerated growth. Her investment strategy in wellbeing products primarily is pinned to improving life’s journey. She is an inspirational leader with a legacy of building world-class teams and aligning organisations behind a clear strategy. Lara’s passion for fragrance and functionality in natural aromatherapy led her to develop, design and produce Scentered, an aromatherapy based wellbeing brand providing a scent-based solution for mindful transitions.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Having had an international upbringing and started my first company at 23, I have experienced the rollercoaster of Enterprise for over 30 years and I find I like building product companies and brands.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
A combination of a helpful disagreement with my mother when I was lying about my impossible life balance, breast feeding, running a pretty complex company and apparently twitch winking unbeknown to me, combined with a friend whom challenged me to do good with my knowledge in fragrance and distribution. He invented the name Scentered which is exactly what we feel when we feel aligned, in sync, happy. It seems to me all we do ultimately strives for us to feel happy, contented and this was my watch word when I ran my first business and my continue sense check to ensure I do the best I can to lead a fulfilled life.
How did you achieve awareness?
Scentered like all small business ideas started with a completely different plan which has evolved as we have travelled the bumpy road of enterprise growth, learning, making mistakes and building back a better focus each time we experiment. Early days spa focus and wellbeing serves us in educating the consumer. The better, paid for awareness of hospitality turn down was building just before Covid. Alas with this avenue closed we have ducked and dived to create Omni-channel exposure, value through direct sales and sampling campaigns with partners like Mindful Chef.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I have funded the business from day one as I feel in my gut the value that we offer to people when the use the STOP INHALE RESET mantra that is part of the Scentered Balm proposition.
What are the key successes?
For the Scentered proposition we are thrilled to be delivering better ways of managing with a growing problem with anxiety on the rise, with people complaining of not being able to sleep through perhaps stress or change worries. Our Scentered miniatures are wholly portable, pocketable for anyone, gorgeously blended aromatherapy balm that impact for a positive mindset. Even if the balm simply reminds someone to think better, approach differently, be more aware through conscious breathing benefits we know that is valuable.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Enterprise growth is full of challenges, I originally made the balm too big for the intended purpose, we focused on the wrong channel priorities, with luck we produced the mini’s but the value of persistence, the determination of my team and the knowledge of our ability to manufacture and sell stands us in good stead.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I want a specialist investor from FMCG sector to help us growth accelerate. As hospitality and travel come back, times are exciting and will be uplifting for brand exposure but ultimately I also know we have the brand in a place where it no longer needs my skill set. Now about to launch in WHSmith we are excited to deliver a challenge to the bad for health calorie consumption till point and check out offers replacing with a wellbeing balm for less than the price of a coffee. That’s a better approach to bringing wellness to our daily mindful challenges.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Don’t wait. Even if you have only one product, start. Ask strangers not family and friends what they think. Always keep the consumer at the heart of your thinking and execution and if you are selling B2B then their customers customer as you want your customer to be wickedly successful to keep them coming back. Retention should be the focus, loyalty, direct winning of the data that is gold to help your business grow and ultimately deliver an authentic world-class service and you will thrive. Plus, you’ll soon find out if it is for you and if it is not, you’d perhaps not regret trying?
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Hard work like you cannot even believe or imagine. Smart work comes later. Take time to employ great talented people that complement your skills and teach you. Constantly educate your team and sell what you passionately believe in. Building relationships is crucial. People deal with people they trust first and not the product, always do your homework. References, testimonials and networks help accelerate.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
My team all inspire me given the agility, the pain of constant change without warning the crunch of cash flow created by slow freight and the endless solutions finding I cannot single people out. My Mum was pretty cool at an early age – I watched and learned from her enormous hard work, perhaps too much sacrifice but utter loyalty and determination.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
Instagram: @iamscentered Facebook: @Scentered Personal instagram: @iamlaramorgan Linkedin: Lara Morgan